Today, September 12, is Mindfulness Day.
Practice mindfulness throughout your day.
Try to be present in the moment - whatever that moment brings.
Let the mind of desire,
the mind of clinging,
the mind of disappointment
all dissolve in the moment.
Zen Master Dae Gak tells us, in his book Going Beyond Buddha, that there are
four formal practices in Zen Buddhism:
sitting and walking practice
formal meal practice.
For Westerners whose minds are never still, the physicality of bowing practice might be a good place to begin. Or perhaps we should start with chanting mantras as a way to silence our own inner dialogues.
Master Dae Gak says, when using mantra as a listening practice, any word or phrase will do, as long as the mantra does not have so much meaning and association that it loses its simplicity and immediacy.
Any chant with which you are familiar will do. It doesn't have to be Buddhist.
With our chant in mind, let's walk the steps up to the meditation hall, take our place on the cushion, and begin our mantra practice. While you chant the mantra, keep out all other thoughts (not an easy task but it can be done, with practice - so they tell me!)
Happy Mindfulness Day!